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Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 7:54pm and ends on Saturday at 8:58pm. The weekly Torah portion is Chayei Sara and Shabbat Mevarchim KislevRosh Chodesh is on Thursday and Friday.

Mincha is 1.45pm: On Mon/Tue at ABL – 21/333 Collins, on Wed at Warlows Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins, and on Thurs at L1 Capital – 28/101 Collins. Join the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

The weekly lunch & shiur continues on Wed at 1.20pm at Warlows Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins – and via zoom, followed by mincha at 1.45pm. Current topic: duty of care for a borrower.  Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Asher Seifman.

“Sarah’s lifetime was one hundred years, twenty years, and seven years; the years of Sarah’s life.” (Bereishit, 23:1)

All of them equal for the good. (Rashi, ibid)

The Torah Portion opens with a seemingly straightforward account of the length of the Matriarch, Sarah’s life – 127 years. Rashi adds that they were all used in a productive way. A fascinating Midrash expands upon the significance of the length of Sarah’s life: The Midrash tells us that Rabbi Akiva was delivering a Torah lecture and he noticed that the audience was dozing off. He tried to wake them up by abruptly changing the topic of discussion – he asked: Why was Esther seen fit to rule over 127 provinces? He answered that it was in the merit of her ancestress, Sarah, who lived 127 years.

The commentaries wonder why Rabbi Akiva taught this lesson in particular: The Chiddushei Harim explains that Rabbi Akiva was pointing out that for each one of Sarah’s perfect years of service to God, her descendant, Esther, merited to rule over a province. He continues that each day was ‘worth’ a town and each hour a ‘district’. Rabbi Akiva was demonstrating the value of using one’s time to its optimum – if Sarah merited such tremendous reward for her descendant then, how is it possible for one to sleep away precious moments during a Torah discourse?!

The theme of the value of using time continues in the Torah Portion. The Torah describes Abraham’s old age: “And Abraham was old, and he came with his days.” What does it mean to ‘come with one’s days”? The Anaf Yosef brings a Zohar which explains that when a righteous person enters the Next World, each one of his days proudly comes along with him to His Heavenly Judgment. Each day presents itself before God to be assessed and to show how its worthy owner spent it properly. Thus, at the end of his long and productive life, the righteous Abraham came to the Heavenly Court, together with all of his days, quite literally.

We have seen how Abraham and Sarah utilized every moment of their lives to their utmost; this should encourage us to maximise our own time to best serve Hashem.

Adapted from DT by Rabbi Yehoshua Gefen.

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